Philippines considers larger eGates
20 July 2018 12:41 GMT

The Phillippines Bureau of Immigration (BI) plans to procure larger electronic gates (e-gates) to accommodate passengers on wheelchairs, an Immigration official told the Philippine News Agency (PNA) Thursday evening. 

BI Port Operations Division chief Red Mariñas, during the launching of e-gates at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 3 on Thursday. said the e-gates would be for everyone except for physically disabled travellers, senior citizens on wheelchairs, and children who would have to go to the regular counters.

He clarified that this is because the currently installed e-gates would not be able to accommodate the size of a wheelchair.

“We have a special lane for PWDs (persons with disabilities)," he added. “Maybe we can order larger units (of e-gates) in the next batch that we will install so we could also accommodate them.”

Those who are with canes and senior citizens on wheelchairs who could stand may use the e-gates.

Mariñas said kids may use the e-gates, but this would depend on their height.

"It's because those who are 3 feet in height may not be able to reach for the camera (for facial recognition)," he said. 

Meanwhile, two units were already installed at NAIA Terminal 3. Filipino passengers will be able to use this starting Monday, July 23.

The BI still has to fine-tune the machines and program before it gives a complete "go signal", Mariñas said, adding that random testing on actual passengers would be done from Thursday to Sunday, July 22. 

The e-gates will help speed up BI transactions, since passengers need not go face-to-face with an immigration officer at the BI counter.

It would only take a few seconds for the passenger to swipe his or her passports, have biometrics, and undergo facial capturing.

Mariñas said the BI targets to install e-gates at the country's major airports by yearend.